Copyright and wrong.

I’m starting off the new year with a discussion of copyright law.  Pretty dry stuff, I know, but read on because there might be information you don’t know.

I’m a stickler for following copyright laws.  I’ve had some of my rug designs taken and used without permission and it doesn’t feel good.  In this era of the internet, it’s easy to think that because some image is “out there”, it’s up for grabs.  I understand how any why the disregard of copyright happens, but I hope that sharing this topic will be a good reminder.

I’m hooking the third piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  It depicts the gigantic eleven million ton iceberg, which is much too close to a small island village of Inaarsuit on the western coast of Greenland.  I think the iceberg has receded a bit, but it’s still a huge threat.

I searched online for photos of this iceberg and found several taken by different photographers and disseminated by several news outlets.  They are all very similar and are taken from about the same vantage point.  The photo I’m using as my inspiration is by Lucia Ali Nielsen via Reuters.  I have searched long and hard to try to contact Ms. Nielsen, but to no avail.  She is on Instagram, which I don’t do.  I’ve decided to not post her actual photo, but to give her credit whenever I share my hooked piece. 

I discovered a very informative article titled, Fair Use in the Age of Social Media.  This does give some leeway when using someone’s image as inspiration for an art project.  I hope you’ll read it as it gives a lot of good information on the subject.

I’m making good progress on my Looming in Greenland piece.  My Mother Earth Speaks series depicts natural and man-made ecological disasters or near-disasters.  Photos of my previous pieces are below with credit given.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the world around us.

Looming in Greenland - 22” x 40”. Adapted from photo by Lucia Ali Nielsen/Reuters.

Looming in Greenland - 22” x 40”. Adapted from photo by Lucia Ali Nielsen/Reuters.

Pele Speaks - 24” x 43”. Adapted with permission from photo by Leigh Hilbert. Depicts Hawaiian volcanic eruption and lava flow 2018.

Pele Speaks - 24” x 43”. Adapted with permission from photo by Leigh Hilbert. Depicts Hawaiian volcanic eruption and lava flow 2018.

Oil and Water - 22” x 30”. Adapted from photo by Kari Goodnough /Bloomberg/Getty Images. Depicts Deepwater Gulf Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico 2010.

Oil and Water - 22” x 30”. Adapted from photo by Kari Goodnough /Bloomberg/Getty Images. Depicts Deepwater Gulf Horizon oil spill in Gulf of Mexico 2010.

Oil and Water, the big finish.

The second hooked piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series is finished. This one titled, Oil and Water, represents the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which was a truly devastating man-made ecological disaster.

After looking at many photos showing the massive oil spill on the water in the Gulf, I chose one for my model as I designed and color planned my piece. I spent a long time online trying to find the photographer [I had her name], but was unable to find where I could contact her. Because of that, I’m not posting her photograph.

This piece is 22” x 28” and is hooked mostly with a #8.5 cut of wool cloth on linen foundation. I also used many #8 cut noodles from my always-full noodle bin.  I also dug out a beautiful skein of sari silk in a variety of colors and added that here and there to add a bit of shine and a “bubble” effect.

I wanted an irregular shape for the border to add to the oil effect. I did my favorite binding technique with the excess linen folded up and basted around cotton cord and then whipped with some exquisite dyed yarn from Deanne Fitzpatrick.  I bought that skein of yarn when I went to a weekend workshop at Deanne’s studio about five years ago. I had never used it until now when it was the perfect yarn for this piece. As I’ve said before, having a good stash is worth its weight in gold.

My next project, after making a large custom pattern for a customer, will be to remake a rug from my pattern titled, Barn Owl with Moon. More on that next time.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in a stash containing some real treasures.

Oil and Water, 22" x 28” wool cloth and sari silk on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by © Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC.

Oil and Water, 22" x 28” wool cloth and sari silk on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by © Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC.

Finishing the irregular edge on Oil and Water.

Finishing the irregular edge on Oil and Water.

Oil spreading.

My Oil and Water piece is progressing in an organic way.  I don’t think I will know what it will look like until it is completely finished.  The colors and patterns are forming after looking at a number of photos of this man-made disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

As always, I have delved into my worm bin and have been able to use many precut wool strips. My goal isn’t to make a pretty picture. That would be impossible and a disservice to such a monumental environmental disaster. I’m even using a piece of primitive linen that had another design on the opposite side and some of the hooking done.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Things are pretty busy around here these days.  Tomorrow a group of Magdalena Rug Hookers and I will be hanging our rug show at the Landis House in Newport, PA. The show, titled Modern Magdalena,  opens on Friday, August 10th and runs through the beginning of November.  The main theme of the exhibit is angels.  We have had fun interpreting the many kinds of angels all around us.

And then I leave for Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village next Monday.  I can’t wait to get there and rub elbows with so many excited and talented hookers.  Nancy Parcels and I will be volunteering to help out at the Rug Hooking Magazine booth with Deb Smith, so do stop and say hello if you’re there.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the busy times of rug hooking activities.

Oil and Water in progress. 

Oil and Water in progress. 

Oil and Water.

There are natural disasters such as the Hawaiian volcano eruption and lava flow that I depicted in my recent piece, Pele Speaks, and then there are man-made disasters. 

My new piece for the Mother Earth Speaks series is titled, Oil and Water, and represents the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20, 2010 an explosion caused the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven people.  The BP pipe on the ocean floor gushed oil and gas for 87 days and released an estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil causing untold devastation on that region.

Some of the oil floated to the surface of the ocean, forming oil slicks, which spread by being pushed by winds. Some oil hovered, suspended, in the mid-water after rising from the wellhead. This oil mixed with dispersant, which, instead of breaking up the oil so it could wash away, allowed the oil to mix with seawater and stay suspended below the surface. About twenty percent of the oil sank to the ocean floor, damaging deep-sea corals and other ecosystems.

Of course many animals were impacted by this oil spill; fish, pelicans, turtles, dolphins, seabirds, to name just some.  I’m sure you remember the photos of animals covered with oil.  It had, and continues to have, a serious environmental impact in that area.

The overwhelming devastation of this man-made disaster made it difficult to design a hooked piece.  There was too much to depict, so I chose to hook a surface oil spill.  This piece will need added fibers after the hooking is finished.  I hope you will follow along.

There’s a lot of beauty out there, which needs to be protected.

Having a good stash is crucial when planning a new piece. 

Having a good stash is crucial when planning a new piece.